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A Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading calculator indicates if your private health insurance hospital premium is likely to be impacted by LHC loading and, if so, the predicated percentage that you will need to pay.

What is LHC loading?

LHC only applies to those who do not hold a private hospital insurance policy by 1 July following their 31st birthday. For every year following that date, you’ll pay 2% more on your hospital insurance premiums if you eventually choose to take out private hospital cover. You may also be impacted by LHC loading if you held private hospital cover by 1 July following your 31st birthday; however, let the policy lapse for more than 1,094 days.

For example, if you choose to take out private hospital insurance for the first time at age 40, you’ll pay 20% more on your hospital insurance premiums. Keep in mind that after you pay the LHC loading for ten continuous years, it’ll be removed.

This loading is an Australian Government initiative that incentivises Australians to take out a private health insurance policy earlier in life. This, in turn, takes pressure off our public health system.

By using a Lifetime Health Cover calculator, you can predict the loading percentage you’ll owe each month. When you talk to one of our health insurance experts over the phone, they can help you figure out what your LHC loading is expected to be and work with you to look for a policy that’s suitable for you.

Are there any exceptions?

You do not need to pay the loading in certain circumstances, but they only apply to a small number of Australians.

For example, if you’re overseas at the time of the LHC deadline, you have one year to take out hospital cover when you finally return home. If you do not take out private hospital cover during your one-year grace period, you’ll have to pay LHC if you later decide to get covered.

Additionally, the following groups of people will not need to pay:

  • New migrants, provided they take out cover at least 12 months after being eligible for Medicare
  • Veterans who hold a Department of Veterans Affairs Gold Card
  • Australian Defence Force members
  • Anyone born before 1934

Frequently asked questions

Can I avoid the LHC loading by taking out extras cover?

No, extras cover doesn’t affect your eligibility for the LHC loading. If you want to avoid the loading, you’ll need either a standalone hospital cover policy or a combined hospital and extras policy. While it won’t help you avoid the loading, there are many other benefits to having extras included in your policy.

Extras cover benefits include:

  • Dental
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Optical
  • Remedial massage

And much more. Depending on your level of cover, you’ll be able to access many services (most of which aren’t subsidised by Medicare) that you can use to maintain your health and keep you out of the hospital.

What else affects my health insurance premiums?

Along with the LHC loading, there are some other factors that will affect your health insurance premiums; namely, the Australian Government’s private health insurance rebate. This rebate is similar to the LHC loading in that it’s designed to incentivise Australians to take out private health insurance.

However, unlike the LHC, the rebate applies to hospital, extras and ambulance cover policies. You can claim this rebate as a reduction of your premiums or a tax offset when you lodge your annual tax return. The rebate is a percentage of your base insurance premium and doesn’t apply to the LHC loading.

The rebate amounts available until 30 June 2023 are:1

Singles< $93,000$93,001-108,000$108,001-144,000> $144,001
Families< $186,000$186,001-216,000$216,001-288,000> $288,001
Base TierTier 1Tier 2Tier 3
< age 6524.608%16.405%8.202%0%
Age 65-6928.710%20.507%12.303%0%
Age 70+32.812%24.608%16.405%0%

For single parents and families with children, the income thresholds are increased by $1,500 for each child after the first.

How does LHC work with a family policy?

If you have a family policy, your LHC loading will be averaged between you and your partner. For example, if you’re 40 with an LHC loading of 20% and your partner is 50 with an LHC loading of 40%, your total LHC on your family policy will be 30%.

What should I do if I need to pay LHC?

If you’re coming up on your 31st birthday, there’s no better time than now to consider taking out health insurance before you start accruing the LHC loading. If you’re already paying the LHC, one of the best things you can do to offset the costs is to find a more cost-effective policy. Because the LHC is charged as a percentage of your hospital insurance premiums, finding a policy that offers the same or similar coverage for less means you could save on both your premiums and LHC loading.

With our free health insurance comparison tool, you can see policies from some of Australia’s most trusted insurers side by side and compare their costs and features to help you find a policy that suits your healthcare needs.


1 Privatehealth.gov.au, Australian Government Private Health Insurance, Accessed August 2022.

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